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Media Release

17 August, 2007

Q&A on the Recovery Plan

The Western Cape Education Department answered the following questions posed by Die Rapport regarding the education recovery plan as follows:

1. How many schools are involved in the recovery programme? Where are most of these schools situated, e.g. Cape Flats, Boland, Overberg, West Coast?

There are 455 high and primary schools where no teaching took place for at least 10 days during the recent public servants' strike action. Of these schools, our focus is more on the 149 high schools' Grade 10, 11 and 12 learners. Most of the affected schools are in Khayelitsha, Mitchell's Plain, Blue Downs, Gugulethu, Philippi, Crossroads and Nyanga and Kraaifontein.

2. How many of these schools are actually actively involved in the recovery plans?

Of the 149 school, 117 are taking part officially; 144 have already completed their mid-year examinations, and the other five will complete them in September. With regard to the primary schools, the teachers are using revised "pace-setters" to ensure that the learners will master a certain set of minimum outcomes and content.

3. When do the matric examinations begin?

The matric examinations begin on Monday, 8 October, 2007 (provisional).

4. Must the schools that do not have WCED recovery plans pilot their own recovery programme?

In many cases, we find that schools do have their own recovery plans, and we welcome this.

5. What is the WCED doing with the schools (mentioned in 1) that are not implementing their recovery plan and completing it?

We are insisting at every school that learners must get extra lessons to prepare them properly for the end of year examination, whether it be under the flag of the WCED's Recovery Plan, or their own initiative. We cannot afford to disadvantage our children further.

6. How is the implementation of the recovery plan progressing as of Friday, 10 August 2007?

We are very pleased that 144 of the 149 schools that did not write examinations have completed them, and it is evident that the overwhelming majority of teachers, school principals and school communities are responding positively to Minister Cameron Dugmore's appeal that we all put our children's future first.

7. Were the difficulties with the plan and the remuneration of the teachers who will be giving the classes sorted out by Friday, 10.08.07?

In discussions with the teacher unions this week, they indicated that they still did not endorse the WCED's Recovery Plan because of the remuneration, and that they have referred it to their various national offices. We have a responsibility towards our children. We are therefore going to do everything possible to ensure that our children are prepared as well as possible for the end of the year examinations.

8. Did many WCED schools report a decline in their June examination results?

Yes, there is a low pass rate at many schools, but this is the case every year. Our experience is that the children get a bit of a fright and then usually pay more intensive attention to their studies in preparation for the end of the year examinations. Because the WCED uses the June examinations as an indicator of which schools need extra support, the results usually improve dramatically at the end of the year.

9. Is Minister Dugmore sure that all schools will be ready by the date of the examination?

Minister Dugmore has appealed to teachers to ensure that the recovery plan offers the best possible support to our children, and he has full confidence in the dedication and abilities of our teachers.

For enquiries, contact Gert Witbooi:  082 550 3938, or gwitbooi@pgwc.gov.za.

Issued by:
Gert Witbooi
Media Liaison Officer
Office of the MEC for Education
Western Cape
Tel: 021 467 2523
Fax: 021 425 5689

Visit our website: http://wced.wcape.gov.za

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2007 WCED